If you read my post from yesterday, you'll note that I mentioned my junior high school band teacher, Mr. Brock. After I posted my blog entry, I decided to Google him to see where he was, if anywhere at all... (Interesting, Google as a verb - where is this world headed???!)
I came up with this: http://www.c-alanpublications.com/brock-gordon.html
It took me 10 minutes to determine if this guy here was in fact MY Mr. Brock. Then I looked at his eyes closely, and knew that it was My Mr. Brock. I was amazed to read that he is the head of the Music Department at the University of North Florida. I read all about his career, from the humble days in the frozen tundra of a Sherwood Park, Alberta junior High school, to where he is today. I was so happy for him that I decided to call him, and was honored to hear that he actually remembered me. What a wonderful path his career has taken. Couldn't have happened to a better guy.
I am so proud of him, and so wonderfully proud to have been one of his students. If I had known then what I know now about this guy, you can bet I would have taken EVERY single opportunity to sit at his feet and let him teach me. He was, and I assume still is, an excellent player, and a GREAT teacher, and I should have been much more open to what he was trying to give me. He tried to give more than fundamentals, more than technique, more than notes. He was teaching PASSION to junior high dorks like me. I didn't really get it then, but I'm glad he left a seed behind for me to discover when I could grasp it and let it grow. It's a wonderfully fullfilling part of my life, it brings me satisfaction not available anywhere else, and it shapes me every day.
It was so good to talk to him, and it was a great feeling to be able to thank him from my heart. This man moved me and stirred something deep down in my soul. If there ever happens to be another student of his out there, either past or present, leave a comment here with your thoughts. I'll pass them along to him for sure. Better yet, call him and tell him yourself.
That having been said, I thanked him for my love of Jazz music. It is something that has been a constant in my life since those early years, and has provided immense satisfaction for me through the years. I go to MANY concerts in a year, most of them Jazz-related, and both Val and I get a great deal of satisfaction out of experiencing the passion that comes from Jazz music, both from a player's perspective, as well as from the perspective of an audience member.
Which leads me to my mini, amateur review of the Maynard Ferguson concert last night....